About The Author

Katie Salidas is a USA Today bestselling author and RONE award winner known for her unique genre-blending style.

Since 2010 she's penned five bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, Chronicles of the Uprising, and the all-new Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. As her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

In her spare time Katie also produces and hosts a YouTube talk show; Spilling Ink. She also has a regular column on First Comics News where she explores writing from a nerdy perspective.

#Giveaway - Can an Immortyl society survive in the modern world?

Servant of the Goddess
Author : Denise Verrico
Genre: Urban fantasy

Format: Print and multi format ebook
Links to buy:

Amazon Page: http://amzn.to/K3NhVS
Servant of the Goddess Trade PB: http://amzn.to/K8uwPb
Servant of the Goddess Kindle: http://amzn.to/J0R2Id
Barnes and Noble: Servant of the Goddess Trade PB and Nook: http://bit.ly/IIz7ru


Facebook fan page: http://on.fb.me/pwZB5L
Follow Cedric on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/ozVCZq

Giveaway: Every commenter who leaves a contact email will receive a link and a free coupon code for my ebook, Annals of the Immortyls!

Building a World
So how does an author go about building a world?  First off, I find inspiration doing my research, and then I let imagination take over.  Every writer should be a reader and not just in the genre in which one writes.  I’ve done research on everything from British street slang to Sanskrit mantras.  There are so many resources available on the web and in the library from which the writer can draw inspiration.  I was on a panel recently with the wonderful fantasy author, Tamora Pierce, and she said she learns a lot about a culture from reading their cookbooks.

Any subject is of value to the writer.  
I studied costume history and design in college as a theater major, and I can’t tell you how valuable that knowledge has been.  An understanding of geography, politics, religion, art, and music can enrich a story and set it apart.  The important thing about creating a world in speculative fiction is sticking to the rules you create for your corner of the universe. 

When I started writing my Immortyl Revolution series, I wanted my vampires to be different from other writers’, but still be recognizable as vampires.  Everyone knows about old vampire legends and the movie and pop culture clich├ęs.  Fantasy is the realm of make-believe, and there is much room for interpretation.  The Immortyls have enhanced physical abilities, can’t go out in the sun, and can drink only human blood.  Why do vampires usually choose to operate in the dark?  There is really no reason I could find in folklore, other than it’s easier to sneak into peoples’ houses and drink their blood when they are sleeping.  Vampires didn’t destruct in the sun until the film, Nosferatu, but I wanted my supermen to have their “kryptonite”, so I created a biological reason to keep them out of the sun, more in keeping with my set of rules.

My series plot, the race to capture the secrets of immortality, was inspired by articles I’ve read on biotechnology.  I opted for no magical powers in my world, except for the magic worked by a DNA molecule.  My vampires are biologically altered, not the undead variety, so they behave a lot like mortals in many respects. 

It’s fun to play around with the old myths and legends and come up with reasons behind them or find alternatives to them.

I find it a challenge to take all kinds of information found in research and throw it into the pot to concoct a completely new culture.  In any world, there are various cultures and subcultures with distinct rituals, rules, and beliefs.  Opportunities for conflict arise when these factions clash.  The trick is to give layers of detail without overwhelming the narrative with descriptive passages.  I try to use action as much as possible to reveal custom.  The way a character wears his clothes, washes his hands, or prays can reveal a lot about that person’s cultural background and character. 

The world of Immortyl Revolution brings to together many elements of research and reading that I’ve done over the years.  I’m a bit of a history buff, and writing about vampires gives me an opportunity to throw people from different time periods together in a contemporary urban setting.  Cara Mia deals a lot with Mia, the heroine, becoming a vampire and her struggle to survive as a modern woman in an ancient culture.  Cedric, in My Fearful Symmetry is also thrown into a very strange set of circumstances, where he is trained as a sacred courtesan and devotee of the Indian Goddess Kali.  My current release,
Servant of the Goddess, deals with these modern vampires confronting the tyranny of their rulers and the USA authorities as well.  Well, they still find time to have love affairs and send up some sparks.

The spectrum of speculative fiction offers many opportunities for an author.  Every writer has unique experience and knowledge to share.  There are so many worlds out there yet to discover and mythologies yet to create.  I look forward to both reading and writing about them.

Chapter Excerpt - Servant of the Goddess

Sudden shouts battled against the sound of the wind. I peered down the block. Teen-formed Immortyls, sewer rats, closed a circle around a tall male, who held his hands high above his head. From the direction of the wind, I couldn’t yet ascertain this stranger as mortal or Immortyl. Best to investigate. I ran toward the disturbance, wrapping my fingers around the Glock strapped to my hip. 
 A shrill whistle split the air. Two of the sewer rats lunged for the stranger. He crouched and pirouetted on one leg, letting loose a rapid succession of kicks that knocked his attackers sprawling onto the sidewalk. A rat named Tommy growled and launched himself at the stranger. To my amazement, the stranger leapt high into the air and hovered there for a moment like a falcon before lashing out with both feet. Tommy’s head snapped backward, and he flattened against the pavement. The remaining rats hung back.
The slender figure of a boy maybe eighteen or nineteen touched down and crouched again, poised to strike. No mortal could perform such maneuvers with this speed and agility, not to mention almost ballet-like grace. The Immortyl’s face betrayed raw emotion, indicating he was new to the blood, probably not much older than his form suggested. Eamon, the rat pack leader, drew and aimed a pistol at him. The stranger raised his hands above his head once more.
 I gave a sharp whistle for Eamon to stand down. “What’s going on here?”
Eamon lowered the gun and spit on the ground. His forever-twelve-year-old face scrunched up. “We found this one skulking about,” he said. Even after a century and half in New York his speech still gave away his Dublin origins. “Says he’s come from the chief elder’s house.”
 The wind kicked up harder. Long, auburn hair whipped about the newcomer’s face. He shivered, hugging an Indian-styled shirt around him. Traces of black kohl and sienna rouge clung to his eyes and mouth, as if he’d scrubbed the paint off in a hurry. The make-up and impractical clothing pointed to origins more exotic than the russet hair and milky complexion suggested. His story sounded plausible. However, the odds that this kid had escaped the chief elder’s compound near Calcutta and made it all the way to New York on his own were unlikely. No slave had ever left there of his own accord.
Kurt had stood trial at the chief elder’s court for inciting rebellion. He’d told me that the chief, Kalidasa, employed state-of-the-art security, as well as vampire-eating tigers. The place was a veritable fortress. Still, there was always a first time, and this newcomer had held his own against Eamon’s band.
I had to admire the kid for standing up to Eamon and his thugs.
The pack leader and I didn’t care much for one another, but he’d fought for Kurt in our recent war with a rival elder. For political reasons, I forced myself to take a civil tone with him. “Did you bother to ask his business before you ordered an attack?” I called to the newcomer, “You--come here.”
 The boy lowered his hands and slinked forward. I’d never seen a man move quite like this, with delicacy just brushing the feminine, yet suggesting coiled up, sinewy strength like a jungle cat. Instinct prompted my hand to reach for the Glock concealed on my hip. The kid had danger scrawled all over him in big garish letters.
“Is this true?” I asked.
“I ran away from court,” the boy replied, his speech tinged with a Scottish burr. “I’m seeking refuge here.”
The plaintive tone struck a chord in me. I sized him up again. His winsome looks didn’t belong to the usual brand of vampire assassin, but to a household slave chosen for his decorative value. Still, his swift feet could kill if given the chance. Wouldn’t it be just like Giulietta to send death in such an appealing guise?
 “Kurt’s counselor, Chase Powers, can vouch for me,” he continued. “Take me to him.”
 “You know Chase?”
“We met in India during Kurt’s trial. He said I’d be welcome here. Please Miss. You have to believe me. I’ve come such a long way and got nowhere else to go.” Desperation filled the spooky, green eyes. They almost glowed, more like a cat’s than a man’s. “There’s probably a bounty offered for my return by now.”
“What did you do?”
“It’s not what I did. It’s what I am.” He held out his hands. Henna tattoos snaked around the wrists and tops, elaborate whirls and spirals. “The marks of my order. I’m an adept of the ancient arts.”
 He was an adept? I’d always imagined these temple devotees and de facto courtesans as Indian in origin. I gave the boy a closer look. His clothing had seen better days, but the sinuous way he moved made them a fashion statement. You couldn’t deny the perfection of feature and figure required of his order. He stood out from Eamon’s mangy lot like an emerald in a box of Cracker Jacks.